Sunday, August 31, 2008

August Declutter Challenge Days 22-31

Organising Qeen has been hosting a month-long declutter challenge. Here are days 22-31.

Classroom - I moved into the room of a teacher who retired and didn't bother to take anything with her, personal or professional. There was so much stuff in there, one could barely walk. Extra bookcases, materials that hadn't been used in 5 years or more, old tests and paperwork, enough teacher supplies to distribute among the entire building. Some people have no pride! I worked my rear-end off and got it decluttered, simplified, personalized, and ready for day 1 of school, August 25.

I took close-up photos of three of the cabinets I decluttered. I threw away enormous trashcans-full of junk.

My husband's bathroom sink.

My closet floor.

The stuffed animals in my daughter's room.

The medicine cabinet. Look at all I threw away!

The computer table.
Bathroom cabinet.

I also declutter the kitty litter box on a daily basis (no, I didn't take a picture).

And we ran out of laundry detergent midweek, so on the 30th, I decluttered the hamper by doing six loads of laundry.

It doesn't take long to choose at least ONE thing per day to declutter.
Some people comment that they wonder how long things stay organized and decluttered. You'd be surprised! Usually a pretty long time. For instance, my plastic ware cupboard still looks pretty good, and my makeup drawer and cupboards under the bathroom sinks still look fantastic. I think that if it's done right, it will stay that way as long as you put things back where they belong as soon as you are finished using them. That's when things tend to get cluttered again... when other people in the household don't put things back, but we are working on that, too. It takes about 30 days of consistency to develop a habit.

Sunday Scrappin'

If you're a traditional scrapbooker, digital scrapbooker, card-maker, or paper crafter of any kind, you're invited to join us for Sunday Scrappin'. You can post your ta-da's, to-do's and take part in optional challenges. It's fun! And I love seeing everyone else's crafts.

I'm posting later than usual this week. With school starting, it's been so busy, but yesterday and today, I worked on a 2 page layout. It's not actually complete. I have to ink the edges of my papers, journal, and glue everything down. But this is basically what it will look like. (Please ignore the tablecloth in the background.)

I also received an adorable scrap kit that I won from the Coconut Scrap Shop! Isn't it great? I'm showing front and back views because I haven't opened it yet. It's got so much stuff! Papers, rub-ons, stickers, ribbon, and more! $25 worth of good stuff!

This week I'd like to get two more pages done, and since I didn't participate in any challenges during the week, I'd like to do that. The Sunday Scrappin' challenge is to dig out an unopened embellishment that you have in your stash and actually USE IT! I wonder if my new kit counts since it's unopened? Of course it does! Happy scrappin' everyone!

Camera Critters

My husband says he doesn't like our new kitten, but I beg to differ!
Oh, and he's quite a critter, too.

Click here for more Camera Critters!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Every Day Manners

Thank you to Tamy at 3 Sides of Crazy for hosting The Revival of Common Courtesy. This week's edition is devoted to Every Day Manners.

Emily Post wrote many, many years ago, "A mother should exact precisely the same behavior at home and every day, that she would like her children to display in public, and she herself, if she expects them to take good manners seriously, must show the same manners to them alone that she shows to 'company.'" ( Books Online)

Wow! That's a tall order! Unfortunately, I can't say that I do this all of the time. My children have seen me do some un-mannerly things. But I do believe that I have taught them what good manners look like, even if I am not always the perfect example. And I do think times have changed quite a bit since the days of Emily Post, maybe too much.

"Please" and "Thank You" are examples of good manners. I do try to use "please" with all of my requests, at least the first two or three times. You moms out there know what I mean! And when they do chores or are otherwise helpful, I remember to say "thank you." Those two phrases are so simple, and they carry a lot of weight.

Good every day manners don't stop there, though. I believe kids should address adults as "Miss," "Mrs." or "Mister" unless instructed to do otherwise. Even our close friends, who are addressed by first names, are called "Miss Kristine" instead of simply "Kristine."

In a household of six people, having every day manners basically comes down to following the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (The Bible, Luke 6:31). I have to remind them that the "rule" says to do "as you would have them do" not "as they do." To put it in their language, it states we should treat others the way we would like to be treated.

I hope that I am teaching them to respect other people's property, privacy, and feelings. I hope that I am teaching them that we all work together to make the household a pleasant place. And I hope that I am teaching them that before they judge others, they should walk a mile in another person's moccasins (Native American saying).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Friday Fill-ins

I love Friday Fill-ins! Check it out here.

Thank you, Michelle, for providing this week's questions.

1. When I'm sick I'm usually going about business as usual because I'm the mom!

2. When I take a walk, I think about when will this walk be over! JK! Random thoughts, smells along the way, colors, and my to-do list. Actually, I usually read a book while I walk (on the treadmill at the Y).

3. Money can't buy happiness but it can come close!

4. Cotton makes me feel natural and leather makes me think of the smell of a wet dog.

5. The strangest person/character I've had lewd thoughts about was ... I plead the fifth!

6. My favorite color these days is pink because it is a happy, cheerful color.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to attending a football game to watch my 15 yo step-daughter perform with the flags during the half time show. tomorrow my plans include nothing certain yet, but possibly scrapbooking with my sister or going to a comedy club with my husband, which we've been planning to do for a month, and Sunday, I want to register my son for baseball.

Org Junkie's August Organizing Roundup

The Entryway was this month's challenge at Organizing Junkie's Roundup. I was fairly pleased with the way my entry was set up, but junk does tend to accumulate in that area. These are my "before" shots.

I decluttered the shoe basket. There was a bag full of empty binders that I brought home from work for the kids to use for school. Those got put in the school supply closet and will get used during this last week of August.

Everything else that didn't belong got put back in its place, I cleaned off the coat rack except for the few things that really needed to stay there, and I put the plant in the corner. That's it. This was the easiest area in the house for me so far! Here are my "after" pictures.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Forgetfulone Needs - Thursday Thirteen #38

I've seen this idea used several times as a Thursday Thirteen, so I'm giving it a try. Type "your first name" and the word "needs" (not in quotation marks), into Google and click search. Here's what Google says I need!

1. a wealthy husband who can provide her with the high life she craves while sheltering her from the media clamor that follows her every move. (Yeah, that's me! The paparazzi gives me such a hard time! Not to mention, I already have a husband who might take offense to the "wealthy" part. My high life consists of blogging!

2. a nickname. (I have one! Forgetfulone)

3. to come over and turn my charming studio into a warehouse loft! (What?)

4. a public search listing on Facebook.

5. a home. (I think they were referring to a painting, because I have a home.

6. a ticket for tonight. (Depends on what kind of ticket. To a show? Yes!)

7. constant approval. (constant? How about frequent?)

8. to change the dates. (of what?)

9. to wear crystals and precious and semiprecious stones. (That'd be nice.)

10. to start being more responsible. (I am the most responsible person I know, thank you very much.)

11. to be needed and to care for others. (True.)

12. to get back to school and her algebra lessons. (My algebra lessons are over! Whew!)

13. to accept herself that God made! (Can't argue with that!)

Try it! And follow some of the links from Google when you do. It's pretty fun!
More Thursday Thurteen here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wordless Wedensday

My Classroom, except the program that I used to collage didn't work the way I thought it would. I should have done a little more editing. I hope you can click it to make it larger, though.
Join WW here!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tuesday Talk

See that counter at the top of my page? It says ZERO! School started today (Monday as I type this) for the students, while teachers have already been back on school time for a week.

Since the topic for this week's Heads or Tails is "talk," I am incorporating it into this post.

I want to talk about my kids first. They have grown up so much! Here's a picture of them on the first day of kindergarten.

Here's a picture of them on the first day of seventh grade. Talk about change!

They both had pretty good first days of school. However, getting all the papers signed and supplies together left me feeling like I didn't want to talk to anyone! Frustrating. And I already have to talk to one of my daughter's teachers. She teaches the same subject and same grade level as I do, so this talk might get interesting!

Today at work, I talked... a lot. The principals talked... alot, and the students wanted to talk... a lot. My students seem like great kids, but my administrators seemed like they were flying by the seats of their pants today. So disorganized! Unlike years past that went smoothly. I hope it's not an indication of the rest of the year. I'm exhausted, physically and mentally, and my feet ache. At least I like my classes. THEY are why I teach. The rest of it is just... blah. If all I had to do was teach, rather than the myriad other jobs they give us to do, then I would be a happy camper.

Thanks for listening to me talk about my kids and my day!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Visit Organizing Junkie for more Menu Plan Monday participants! She's also hosting giveaways.

If you see the counter at the top of my page, you'll see the hours and minutes quickly ticking away toward the first day of school. It was a short summer! I've been back at work a week, and the students return tomorrow, so it will be a long, busy week. Best to have my meals planned. Mine starts today.

Sunday Spaghetti, Sauteed Mushrooms, and Garlic Bread.

We had two kind of sauces. One was just a jar of Ragu Alfredo sauce. The other was a Bertolli 5 Cheese Tomato sauce to which we added ground beef, sausage, mushrooms, garlic, and Hunt's tomato sauce. For the garlic bread, we melted real butter with pressed garlic, basil, and parsley. Then we dipped the bread in the mixture and broiled it for a few minutes. It was a delicious meal.

Monday Slow Cooker Chicken with rice and green beans.

Chicken dish: Peeled and sliced carrots; half an onion (diced); 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts; garlic powder, salt, pepper. Cover all this with a mixture of Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (1 can), Campbell's Condensed Broccoli Cheese Soup (1 can), and half a cup of milk. Pour on top of all the other ingredients. Refrigerate over night. Turn the crockpot on in the morning, and you're good to go. Cook the rice about 20 minutes before dinner as well as the green beans. I have also used peeled, chopped potatoes in place of the carrots, and it's delicious. You can really use any two flavors of creamed soup that you prefer.

Tuesday French dip Roast Beef Sandwiches with au jus and Ore-Ida Crispy Crowns.

My husband is in charge of making this meal, and it's usually quite tasty.

Wednesday Angel Chicken Pasta, Salad, and Garlic Toast.

This is a new recipe that sounds delicious. Here is the link to the ingredients and preparation from AllRecipes.

Thursday Guys' night out. We'll probably go to Jason's Deli.

Friday Pizza Night! Hopefully, we can order in because I know I will be tired. If not, we'll go to a local pizzeria.

Sunday Scrappin'

Sunday Scrappin' is a place for scrapbooking, digital scrapbooking, and paper crafting. Each week we post our accomplishments and goals, and our fearless leader, Amy at Tiny Blessings, gives us an optional challenge.
This week I only got one page finished. My excuse is that I went back to work last Monday after a very short summer, and school starts tomorrow, so there has been much to do.
1. Create and finish at least two scrapbook pages.
2. Participate in the Sunday Scrappin' challenge and possibly the challenge at 52 Sketches.
3. Continue to organize my craft space. Every time I get moved into a new spot, it gets taken away. I've created a new space in the breakfast room. The kids will just have to eat breakfast at the dining room table instead.
Last week's challenge was to use squares as the main focus of a project. I think I did that with the page above.
This weeks' challenge is to add some texture to your project. Use textured scrapbook paper, sand paper, paint... whatever you can think of! I better put my thinking cap on! Happy scrappin' everyone!

Unconscious Mutterings

Unconscious Muterings is a free association meme hosted by Luna Nina. Click her name to see other participants. The rules are easy. There are none! No right or wrong answers.

I say ... and you think ... ?

1. Cry :: I wish I could cry more as I have plenty to cry about. What's wrong with me that I can't cry when I need to?
2. Stretch :: of the imagination
3. Efficient :: Me!
4. Brunch :: Champagne
5. Afro :: Disco
6. Preheat :: oven
7. Delicious :: Lasagna from Frenchy's
8. Global warming :: Not sure what to do about it.
9. Actions :: Speak louder than words
10. Ride :: Had so much fun on rides at Disney last March

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Makes You Feel Good

It's so nice to know that there are people out there who read my blog and who LIKE my blog! And I love their blogs! They're both in my feed reader.

This is from Sassy Mama Bear at Cafe at the End of the Universe. She also has two other blogs - Sassy Mama Bear Reads and Sassy Mama Bear Writes. Check them out! You're bound to find something you like on her blogs.
I want to pass this on to Chrissy at Chrissy's Creative Spot and The World through Chrissy's Lens, Lucy at LuLu's Petals, Just Jen at Jen's Humble Opinion 2 (who's blog shall remain linkless for right now), Jen at Tidbits of the Tippets (blog set to private), Jenn at My Kids are My World and My Beautiful Creations, Kailani at An Island Life, Laura at Lunatic Fringe, and Eve at Adam's Wife's Weblog.

This adorable puppy-crazy award is from Tamy at 3 Sides of Crazy. How appropriate! I love her blog. She posts about so many different things. Go see!

I'm passing this on to Tammy at Queen-Size Funny Bone, Suzie at Up the Hilll Backwards, Kellan at On the Upside and On the Flipside, Giggles at Happy Tiler, D. at My Life is Based on a True Story, Bubba's Sis at Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend... Me, and Gellianne at Everyday Adventures.

Camera Critters

Naughty Cat! But I LOVE her!
This is our kitten, Lacy. We've had her about two weeks. You can see she's making herself right at home! This was my husband's water glass, and he was not pleased.
(And yes, she has a water bowl!)
For more Camera Critters, click here!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Your Friendship - Tag

Gellianne of Everyday Adventures tagged me with this poem. Thank YOU for your friendship. Internet friends are special, accepting, loyal, candid. Here's a poem to all of my IFs!

We need friends for many reasons,
all throughout the season.
We need friends to comfort us
when we are sad,
and to have fun with us
when we are glad.
We need friends to give us good advice,
We need someone we can count on,
and treat us nice.
We need friends to remember us
one we have passed
sharing memories that will always last.

Pass of the friendship poem.
1. Everyday Life 2. Words of Love 3. Sheng’s Simple Thoughts 4. My Life’s Rollercoaster Ride 5. Madz Life’s Diary 6. Madz Wedding in Mauritius 7. Marga - Blog Ko Toh 8.Life’s All About… 9. Rai - PinkandBubbly 10. Life’s Sweets and Spices 11. Everyday Adventures 12. Forgetfulone

I am passing this on to J from Musings from Left Field and Latree from Dandelion.

August Declutter Challenge Days 15-21

This is my second week of participation in Organising Queen's August decluttering challenge. I'm getting so much done. This is a sample of this week's progress.

If you're not the "organized" type, Organising Queen has a great post about how to get started without feeling overwhelmed. It's terrific motivation!

1. Kitchen sink - decluttered and disinfected.

2. Shoe basket at the entryway - decluttered.

3. Toys the kids have outgrown ready for delivery to Goodwill.

4. Clothes and shoes ready for delivery to Goodwill.

5. My planner - I got a new one and I am listing only events that must be attended and only names and numbers that I actually use. Many didn't get transferred to the new planner.

6. Chore Chart - Household duties assigned for weekly and weekend chores for each of the four kids who live in the household. It's posted on the refrigerator. Chores rotate each week.

7. Markers tested and separated (Vis a Vis and Sharpies).

8. Desk organizer at work decluttered.

9. Clutter from my purse thrown away. It's unbelievable how much junk accumulates in your purse over the course of a few days.

10. The front yard decluttered.

I'm ready to get started on another week!


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